1862 Conflict Tour

Historical Sites of the Conflict of 1862

Little Crow Spring and Summer 2012 341The Museum offers a special County Wide Tour of the historical markers, monuments and sites of the Dakota and U.S. war of 1862.  Our presenter can guide a tour group as a caravan, or hop on a tour bus visiting for the day!  Tour package prices start at $50 with total cost based on number of sites interpreted, guests attending tour, and purchase of historical sites guide.  Contact the Museum for tour date availability and total costs.

The start of the Conflict…

Taken from, 1917 “History of McLeod County” by Franklin Curtis -Wedge:

In the latter part of July the Upper Sioux (the Sissetons and Wahpetons) came down to their agency at the mouth of the Yellow Medicine river, and encamped, expecting to receive their “Government treaty payment.”   But days passed and no payment came; the Indians ran out of provisions and were very hungry; the delay in the payment exasperated them, and at last, on the 4th of August, they broke into the agency warehouse and carried out considerable quantities of flour and pork, and were very threatening.   Agent Galbraith had a company of soldiers and two pieces of cannon; displaying these and promising to give them three days’ rations at once, Agent Galbraith succeeded in quieting the Indians for a time…

The Lower Indians, as those were called whose agency was in Redwood county, opposite Morton, were quiet and well-nigh contented. The most of them were living and dressing like white people, cultivating and raising good crops, working for wages for the government and for white men…

There was a small village of the Lower Indians on the railroad side of the Minnesota, at the mouth of a little rivulet called Rice creek.  These Indians were of the nature of refugees and renegades, for they had left their several bands and formed a band of their own; some of them were Upper Indians and some belonged to the Lower bands…   All told, they numbered about fifty persons, and they had a chief with the hardly understandable name of Red Middle Voice, who was a half brother (or cousin) of Chief Shakopee…

On Sunday morning, August 17, four Rice Creek Indians, who were of a hunting party, were passing along the road from Henderson to Pembina in Acton township, Meeker county.  They were near Acton Post office, which was in the house of Robinson Jones, who was the postmaster and who also kept for sale a little general merchandise with a barrel of whiskey.  In a fence corner they found some hens’ eggs, which one of the Indians took, intending to eat them for his breakfast.  Another Indian forbade him, saying that the eggs belonged to a white man and their appropriation by an Indian might make trouble.  In a quarrel which resulted the egg taker called the peace maker a coward, “afraid of a white man.”  A tumult resulted, during which the egg taker, whose Indian name in translation was One Who Kills Ghosts, vaunted his courage and the peace maker, Brown Wing, hotly asserted that he was ready to demonstrate that he was not a coward, and the other two, Breaks Up and Scatters, and Crawls Against an Obstacle, said they would be glad to show that they were brave too.  To test one another’s valor and contempt of danger it was finally agreed to go up to Jones’ house and shoot him and others if necessary.

This was the start of cultural clash that resulted in the death and destruction of both White Settlers and Native Indians that burned its way across central and southern Minnesota.  The Uprising as it is sometimes called,  left deep scars on both sides that still cause conflict and controversy today.  As a part of the Museum’s Mission to find, preserve, explain and share McLeod County History, the Museum offers this special tour to help the public to understand why the Conflict happened and build a connection between these two clashing cultures.